Dangerous driver led police on high-speed chase and filmed it - before claiming he had a child in the car

A Northumberland man who lead officers on a ‘reckless’ high-speed chase through Newcastle is facing time behind bars.

By Sarah Sinclair
Sunday, 2nd August 2020, 12:14 pm

Samuel Birch, of Maple Street, Ashington, admitted a string of driving offences linked to the police chase in the west end of Newcastle on March 29.

On Thursday, July 30, Newcastle Crown Court heard how officers on Denton Road signalled for the 30-year-old to stop after observing him speeding in his silver Vauxhall Corsa.

Birch, who was wanted by police for outstanding offences, refused to stop and slammed his foot on the accelerator.

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Samuel Birch is facing jail for dangerous driving. Photo: Northumbria Police

He then led police on a dangerous pursuit during which he drove on the wrong-side of the road, ignored red lights and even put his phone out the window to film the pursuit.

As he headed into the city centre, Birch dialled 999 to order officers to “abort” the pursuit, telling them he would drive off a bridge – and that he had a “minor” in the car with him.

But he was the only occupant of the vehicle and moments later officers brought him to a stop outside St James’ Park.

Birch was charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop and two unrelated counts of malicious communications offences for which he was wanted.

Following the chase, investigating officer PC Darren Lant commented: “From start to finish this was an appalling piece of driving that could have ended with a serious collision if Birch continued to drive into the city centre.

“His behaviour behind the wheel was atrocious and he put lives at risk through his reckless attempts to avoid police.

“The fact he then tried to falsely claim he had a child on board says a lot about his character and I am glad we were able to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion.

“People like Birch don’t deserve the right to be behind the wheel and he now faces a spell behind bars when he returns to court.”

Birch was released on bail and banned from driving until his sentencing at Newcastle Crown Court on December 21.

To report information about a dangerous driver, or submit dash-cam footage, visit the ‘Tell Us Something’ pages of the Northumbria Police website.

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